Mapper of the Month: Patricia Solis (USA)

- Pierre Parmentier


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His homepage and his contribution page.

Hello Patricia. Would you like to briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

I live in Tempe, Arizona, USA. I am 51 years old, married to a Panamanian and the mother of two. Both boys are in college now. I have a twin sister.

How and when did you get to know OpenStreetMap?

I was invited to start mapping on OSM during the Haiti Earthquake in 2010 by a friend working in the humanitarian sector. I created an account, contributed, but lost track. I returned to map again in about 2014.

How do you use OpenStreetMap?

In 2014 I wrote the concept of what would become YouthMappers (*) with colleagues. I use OSM to connect young people around the world to learn about mapping and about each other.

What kind of contributor are you and in which area do you map?

I am a relatively light contributor, varying in frequency. I tend to map in alot of different places as I’m teaching different students. I map just enough to demonstrate how and then I help others.

What are you mapping? Do you have a specialisation?

Most of the projects I map with are YouthMappers projects. Most of the time this is connected to a humanitarian, development, or research purpose.

What is your greatest achievement as mapper?

Inspiring thousands of university students to use OSM. YouthMappers has chapters on more than 327 university campuses in 67 countries so far.

Why are you mapping? What motivates you?

Mapping provides a window to see the world. The openness of OSM allows us to connect to each other, and ideally work together and learn from each other.

Do you have any ideas to expand the OpenStreetMap community, to motivate more people to contribute?

Be a good ancestor. Pay it forward to younger mappers. Even if they do not continue for a long time, they will take the experience with them into their future.

Do you have contact with other mappers?

Frequently I am in contact with YouthMappers and the OSM community.

What is in your view the greatest strength of OpenStreetMap?

That open geospatial data is a public good. It can be used and reused by those who create it. This connects us.

What are the largest challenges for OpenStreetMap?

The greatest challenges stem from the resounding success and growth. How do we keep thriving as a community of communities as we grow larger and larger? How do we make sure we include a diversity of mappers and voices?

How to do stay on top of news about OpenStreetMap?

The most fun way is to go to the State of the Map conferences in person!

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To conclude, is there anything else you want to share with the readers?

Thank you for recognizing the various ways people contribute to OSM, and not just by editing. We appreciate you!

Thank you, Patricia, for this interview.

(*) See their website https://www.youthmappers.org/ and a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWOqYtv6skI